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John Hinckley, who tried to assassinate ex-US prez Ronald Reagan 40 years ago, to be released in June 2022

Hinckley, 66, was found not guilty on the grounds of insanity of shooting Reagan and three other men outside a Washington hotel on March 30, 1981.

John Hinckley tried to assassinate US prez Ronald Reagan to be released in June 2022 gcw
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Washington D.C., First Published Sep 28, 2021, 12:17 PM IST
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John Hinckley, the man who attempted to kill US President Ronald Reagan 40 years ago, is expected to be given unconditional parole in June of next year. Hinckley, 66, was found not guilty on the grounds of insanity of shooting Reagan and three other men outside a Washington hotel on March 30, 1981. He said he planned to assassinate the president in order to please actress Jodie Foster, with whom he got fascinated after seeing the film "Taxi Driver."

Hinckley was freed from a Washington psychiatric facility in 2016 under severe restrictions after being kept there since the assassination attempt. The terms included staying within 50 miles (80 kilometres) of his mother's house in Williamsburg, Virginia, and not going anywhere where a current or past president, vice president, or member of Congress is known to be. A federal judge accepted a deal between the Justice Department and Hinckley's lawyers on Monday, according to court records, that would eliminate the restrictions in June 2022.

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The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute released a statement condemning the decision, stating it was "saddened to learn of the decision." The statement indicated that contrary to the judge's ruling, John Hinckley remains a threat to others and vehemently oppose his release. It stated that they hope that the Justice Department would submit a request with the court that will result in the ruling being reversed. Hinckley opened fire outside the Hilton Hotel in Washington, wounding Reagan, his press secretary James Brady, a police officer, and a Secret Service member.

Reagan was shot in the lung during the assassination attempt, but he recovered swiftly. Brady, who was severely crippled as a result of the shooting, and his wife, Sarah, started what is now known as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

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